Every year since 2005, the anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ group Walk for Life has marked the anniversary of Roe v. Wade by bussing people from around the West Coast into Devil's territory (a.k.a. San Francisco) for a big march down the waterfront Embarcadero. Last Saturday, as Roe turned 38-years-young, the marchers numbered about 20,000. And the queer, costumed radicals of Gay Shame, numbering quite a few less, were there to greet them.
Billing their counter-protest as "a pro-choice convergence of everyone's personal Jesuses, Magdalenes, Judases, 9-headed dogs, lambs, lions and pillars of salts," Gay Shamers, known collectively as "Mary," were there in full regalia. One Christ opted for a fashionable leopard-print shawl, and many wore haloes that read "Thank God 4 Abortion."
It was also the first performance for Public Drama, a music-meets-activism project formed by one-time Deep Dickollective member Ralowe Trinitrotoluene Ampu and other Gay Shame associates, who rapped through a bike-pulled speaker system. The music caused at least one anti-choice teen to break ranks with his own to dance down to the floor, until another kid pulled him back into the march.
But for the most part the reaction to the counter-protesters from the overwhelmingly polite Walk for Lifers, many of whom had probably never seen street theater, was wondering stares.